Joe Kinnear has had his short-term contract as Newcastle boss extended until the end of the season, the English Premier League club have annouced.
The former Wimbledon manager had been in charge on a month-by-month basis since September as owner Mike Ashley attempted to find a buyer for the club in the wake of former manager Kevin Keegan's acrimonious departure. However, with a sale looking unlikely in the short-term given the uncertain economic climate, the club have offered Kinnear greater stability, which he welcomed.
"Ever since I came to Newcastle United, I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience," he said. "The players have been great to work with and the fans have made me feel at home since day one.
"We have a big challenge ahead of us for the rest of the season, but together, I'm confident we will make good progress. We have some very good players already at this club and hopefully we can further strengthen the squad in January, and I will be working very closely with the directors to try to achieve that."
Since Kinnear took over, Newcastle have lost only two of their eight matches and a battling goalless draw at Chelsea last weekend boosted his case for a longer-term deal. Despite that result, Newcastle remain in the relegation zone but with players like Michael Owen and Mark Viduka finally fit the mood at the club has improved immeasurably in recent weeks.
Managing director Derek Llambias said: "Joe has done an excellent job since coming to the club, and everyone is delighted he has agreed to remain in charge for the rest of the season."
Newcastle play Middlesbrough in a northeast derby clash at Boro's Riverside ground on Saturday.